Agri sector startups receive critical support

The startups being nurtured under the scheme are from various categories, such as agro-processing, artificial intelligence, digital agriculture, farm mechanisation, waste to wealth, dairy, fisheries, etc.

August 8, 2020

Driven by volume and variety of output, the Indian food industry is expected to break into new markets

India’s agricultural exports are expected to grow from US$38.5 billion in FY 2019 to US$60 billion by 2022

24 RKVY-RAFTAAR Agribusiness Incubators have been appointed across India to offer necessary support

A total of 346 startups are being funded for a sum of over Rs.367 million in this phase, released in installments

As part of ongoing initiatives to empower India’s agricultural and allied sectors, the Union Government has taken proactive steps to boost entrepreneurship in the primary industry. To drive this, the Innovation and Agri-entrepreneurship Development Programme has been launched under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) to promote innovation and agripreneurship with financial and incubation support. The startups being nurtured under the scheme are from various categories, such as agro-processing, artificial intelligence, digital agriculture, farm mechanisation, waste to wealth, dairy production, fisheries, etc.

Agriculture is the main source of income for over 55 per cent of India’s 1.3 billion population. The gross value added by agriculture, forestry, and fishing was estimated at around Rs.19.5 trillion during FY 2020 while foodgrain output was measured at record 295.7 million tonnes. Horticulture, dairy, and fisheries sectors also reported record output. Driven by volume and variety of output, the Indian food industry is expected to break into new markets, raising supply to the global food value chain. Besides agricultural output, India’s food processing sector has grown its market with high-margin and high-quality offerings. 

Under the Innovation and Agri-entrepreneurship Development Programme, the Central Government has selected five knowledge partners as Centres of Excellence. 1) National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), Hyderabad; 2) National Institute of Agricultural Marketing(NIAM), Jaipur; 3) Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) Pusa, New Delhi; 4) University of Agriculture Science, Dharwad, Karnataka; and 5) Assam Agriculture University, Jorhat, Assam. Additionally, 24 RKVY-RAFTAAR Agribusiness Incubators (R-ABIs) have been appointed across the country to offer the necessary support.

The following are the components of this scheme:

  • Agripreneurship Orientation – Two months duration with a monthly stipend of Rs.10,000/- per month. Mentorship is provided on financial, technical, IP issues, etc.
  • Seed Stage Funding of R-ABI Incubatees – Funding up to Rs.2.5 million (85 per cent grant and 15 per cent contribution from the incubatee).
  • Idea/Pre-Seed Stage Funding of Agripreneurs – Funding up to Rs.500,000 (90 per cent grant and 10 per cent contribution from the incubatee).

Under the programme, the partner institutes invite application, and based on a selection process as well as training of two months, the final list of startups that are to be funded through are finalised. Training on technical, finance, IP, statutory compliance issues, etc. is provided under the programme, apart from mentoring and monitoring of milestones and timelines. In all, a total of 346 startups from the sector are being funded for a sum of over Rs.367 million in this phase, released in installments. These startups were trained for two months at 29 agribusiness incubation centres (KPs & RABIs) spread across India. 

India’s total agricultural exports are expected to grow from US$38.5 billion in FY 2019 to US$60 billion by 2022. Recently, a new set of reforms now aims to further boost the output and income of farmers. These include the “Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance 2020”; Amendment to Essential Commodities Act; and “Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020”. For more details on Agri-entrepreneurship, please visit https://rkvy.nic. The platform will be key to boosting farmers’ income and creating new jobs.